Court ruling against bird enthusiasts allows go ahead for 99 MW project

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A Dutch court ruling against bird enthusiasts' objection to the long planned 99 MW Near Shore Wind Farm (NSW) means that construction work may now begin. Co-developers Shell and power company Nuon plan to start building in 2006, according to Nuon's Bart Sikking. The Raad van State, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands, rejected arguments by a local bird group, Stichting Vogelwacht Egmond, that the project had no provision for measuring avian mortality. The Raad ruled that a number of suitable systems are now in development and one of these must be used. With the final legal hurdle out of the way, the developers will finalize contracts with suppliers before securing the approval of the Nuon and Shell boards of directors. The plant will be equipped with 33, 3 MW Vestas V90 turbines and located eight kilometres off the Dutch coast from Egmond. A proposed reduction of the Energy Investment Deduction tax break from 55% to 44% might affect the boards' decisions. Sikking is optimistic that it will be in production next year, however.

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